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Sport & Vergnügen – the original title is: SPORTS ET DIVERTISSEMENTS. Thoughts on the performance of Satie’s works … Erik Satie was a person who left all of his academically acquired abilities virtually unexploited, taking instead an extremely individual approach to negotiating the artistic currents of his time. His works were not seldom met with disapproval, for many considered his criticism of bourgeois listening habits and performance practices all too brusque.
His musically “Satierical” cabaret was celebrated in the Parisian nightclub Chat Noir — often in several media at once. Departure from convention as well as extraordinary diversity and capriciousness are the qualities of Satie’s oeuvre which have always led to as much controversy as admiration in its reception by the public. Satie was not only a composer, but also an ingenious raughtsman and lyric writer. His work is informed with a specific multi-mediality that cannot be comprehended purely as music. It is thus highly problematical to perform his compositions — complex interweavings of text, image and music — within the framework of a conventional piano concert. Mere transmission to an audio recording medium is likewise often insufficient. In order to convey Satie’s work to the public in an authentic manner, the interpreter must open him or herself to its inherent multi-media character; only thus can he or she do justice to these works of art. The integration of music, poetry and drawing can be experienced particularly well in “Sports et divertissements”. Image, text and tone merge in this synthesis of the arts with such totality that its intended effect is attained only when all three elements are perceived simultaneously. With the interdisciplinary “Sound and Picture Book” we hope to have in some way approximated the diverse and perceptually complex spectrum of the sports and amusement scenes depicted in these works. As you listen to them, as to the yearning waltzes, chansons, bizarre songs and piano pieces underlaid with eccentric anecdotes, we wish you much pleasure and amusement! In addition to being a composer, Satie was also an ingenious lyric writer and draughtsman. Musically “Satierical” cabaret in the Chat Noir of Paris. A must for every Satie interpreter: the presentation of all facets of his works — tone, image and word — to the public. A synthesis of the arts Sports et divertissements Chansons and songs, Piano pieces underlaid with stories Erik Satie (1866 – 1925).
This album concludes Johannes Cernota’s trilogy on the outstanding French composer and artist Erik Satie. It is an album of songs with the unusual piece Sports et Divertissements (Sport and entertainment) at is core – 20 compositions and short poems by Satie to illustrations from 1914.